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Courses - Spring 2024
PHIL
Philosophy Department Site
Open Seats as of
07/18/2024 at 10:30 AM
PHIL100
Introduction to Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
An introduction to the literature, problems, and methods of philosophy either through a study of some of the main figures in philosophic thought or through an examination of some of the central and recurring problems of philosophy.
PHIL140
Contemporary Moral Issues
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
The uses of philosophical analysis in thinking clearly about such widely debated moral issues as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, reverse discrimination, the death penalty, business ethics, sexual equality, and economic justice.
PHIL202
Know Thyself: Wisdom Through Cognitive Science
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHS or DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209N or PHIL202.
Formerly: PHIL209N.
How do we improve our decision making? Cognitive science demonstrates that self-knowledge isn't as easy as we think, and that there are numerous biases and fallacies that impact our decision-making in ways that are hard for us to be aware of. In this course you will learn what some of these are and how they have been discovered, and you will explore potential strategies for avoiding these fallacies and for making wiser choices.
PHIL203
The Rights and Wrongs of Killing People
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209J or PHIL203.
Formerly: PHIL209J.
Virtually everyone thinks it's permissible to kill people only in special circumstances. But why is killing usually wrong? Is it ever acceptable to kill an innocent human being intentionally? This course raises these and related questions and examines cases such as terrorism, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, war. Except for a brief discussion of animals, all the controversies considered deal with killing and causing death to human beings.
PHIL205
Are Sports Ethical?
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL205, PHIL209G, or HONR229E.
Formerly: HONR229E.
Things happen routinely in sports that would seem morally unacceptable in other context: violence between the participants, attempts to trick the referee, fans hoping that some players would do embarrassingly badly, spectators feeling anger towards whole nations. Nonetheless, all of this may seem reasonable and even justifiable within a sporting context. This course will investigate the ethical structure of sports, and what it tells us about the ethics of everyday life. Philosophy will provide the primary disciplinary context, but we will also think about sociological, legal and anthropological perspectives on sports. Issues will include the nature of sportsmanship, what types of violence in sports are acceptable, drug use in sports, what it means to be a fan (for example, asking why loyalty to your team is valuable) and how our view of sports interacts with our view of nations. By the end of the course you should have gained familiarity with a variety of ethical concepts and a sensitivity to the ethical issues in sports. You should also find that by thinking about morality in the context of sports, you will look at larger ethical issues in new ways.
PHIL211
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209D or PHIL211.
Formerly: PHIL209D.
An introduction to a major subfield of contemporary Philosophy, namely applied ethics, and the experience of using some major tools in the practice of philosophy more generally, namely, the construction and formal evaluation of arguments, conceptual analysis, the use of thought experiments, and clear, direct and persuasive writing. Learning how to execute the latter will involve an intense iterative process. The substantive focus of the course will be the ethical evaluation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in some of its current and potentially future incarnations. We'll examine algorithmic opacity, algorithmic bias and decision-making, autonomous weapons systems, human-robot interaction, and artificial moral agents, in order to uncover what, if any, ethical issues they give rise to.
PHIL220
Bioethics: Regulating Right and Wrong
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU or DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209A or PHIL220.
Formerly: PHIL209A.
Bioethicists formulate ethical guidelines. They answer questions such as: When life-saving health resources are scarce, who should get them? Should we increase supply of one such resource, kidneys, by buying them from living "donors"? If drug trials in developing countries benefit patients who consent to participate, are the trials ethical, even if the same research would be forbidden in the US? If a sick person aims to hasten her death, how, if at all, might her doctor permissibly help her? In this course, students construct and defend ethical rules in four domains: research ethics, allocation of scarce resources, markets in organs, and physician-assisted dying.
PHIL236
Philosophy of Religion
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
Cross-listed with: RELS236.
Credit only granted for: PHIL236 or RELS236.
A philosophical study of some of the main problems of religious thought: the nature of religious experience, the justification of religious belief, the conflicting claims of religion and science, and the relation between religion and morality.
PHIL245
Political and Social Philosophy I
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
A critical examination of such classical political theories as those of Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and such contemporary theories as those of Hayek, Rawls, and recent Marxist thinkers.
PHIL271
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: FSAR
Recommended: PHIL170.
This course provides students with a thorough treatment of the basic concepts and techniques of modern symbolic logic, through classical first-order logic with identity. We will concentrate on the construction of natural deduction proofs and on the evaluation of logical statements in semantic models. Along the way, we will study some of the concepts from set theory (sets, functions, relations) used in the definition of semantic models for logical systems. We may also introduce some alternative, or non-classical logics. Although the subject of symbolic logic was developed by mathematicians and philosophers for their own special purposes (which we will discuss), logical concepts and techniques have found applications in a variety of disciplines, including computer science, economics, law, linguistics, and psychology. We may also consider some of these applications.
PHIL309D
Philosophical Problems; Philosophy of Negative Emotions
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Is anger simply a cognitive distortion we should eliminate from our minds? Is it better understood as a response to injustice, capable of motivating social change? Is shame a morally effective form of punishment? Is it rational for grief to diminish after a short time despite the persistence of loss? The course will examine answers to these and other questions about the philosophical nature of anger, shame, fear, anxiety,and grief. A theme of the course will be the good of these so-called negative emotions and the extent to which they are ethically and politically significant. Readings will draw on historical and contemporary philosophy as well as psychology and literary art.
PHIL318B
Studies in Epistemology/Metaphysics; The Wisdom of Crowds
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
An investigation of how the ability to obtain knowledge can be enhanced or distorted by different kinds of social structures. We will look at classic work about how different kinds of interactions within groups create new ways of knowing or being deceived. We'll also look at recent work on the nature of disagreement, polarization, and the use of networks in scientific research.
PHIL320
Knowing Oneself and Knowing the World: Early Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of instructor.
A study of major philosophical issues of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries through an examination of such philosophers as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Cavendish, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant
PHIL360
Philosophy of Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: LING311; or 2 courses in PHIL and (PHIL170 or PHIL370); or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department.
Cross-listed with: LING350.
Credit only granted for: LING350 or PHIL360.
The nature and function of language and other forms of symbolism from a philosophical perspective.
PHIL362
Theory of Knowledge
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses; and PHIL170.
Formerly: PHIL462.
Some central topics in the theory of knowledge, such as perception, memory, knowledge, and belief, skepticism, other minds, truth, and the problems of induction.
PHIL366
Philosophy of Mind
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
An introduction to core issues in the philosophy of mind, focusing especially on the basic metaphysical question of dualism versus physicalism.
PHIL386
(Perm Req)
Experiential Learning
Credits: 3 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department; and junior standing or higher.
Consult Director of Undergraduate Studies: C. Manekin. Prerequisites: 12 credit hours of philosophy and 3.0 GPA. Carries no credit toward philosophy major.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL408L
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; Philosophy of Childhood
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL408P
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; Philosophy of Psychiatry
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL408Q
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; Fairness
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL409J
Advanced Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; Social Ontology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL409X
Advanced Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
An introduction to the basic mathematics and concepts needed to see why quantum mechanics raises philosophical issues, and a discussion of some questions about quantum entanglement. A basic understanding of the issues calls for mathematics, though less than you might expect. There are no specific mathematical prerequisites, but a taste for abstraction will be essential. Ideally, students should be comfortable at least with the material in MATH107 (Mathematical modeling and probability).
PHIL414
The Philosophy of Aristotle
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
A critical study of selected portions of Aristotle's writings.
PHIL418B
Topics in Epistemology/Metaphysics; Conditionals and Conditional Reasoning
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL428C
Topics in the History of Philosophy; Confucius and Socrates
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL446
Law, Morality, and War
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
An exploration of fundamental moral and legal issues concerning war.
PHIL470
Logical Theory II: Incompleteness and Undecidability
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Prerequisite: PHIL370; or permission of instructor.
Introduces the formal theory of computation, and then presents the the central limitative results of modern first-order logic: Church's undecidability theorem and Godel's first and second incompleteness theorems. The primary focus of the course is a thorough technical study of these fundamental results, but we will also discuss some of the philosophical issues they raise. Further topics may include second-order logic.
PHIL498F
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL498G
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL640
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
A basic course in value theory for beginning graduate students, covering a number of topics in depth, to provide a springboard for further study and research in the area.
PHIL788G
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL788I
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL799
Master's Thesis Research; Masters Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL808J
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL808K
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy; Recent Work in the Philosophy of Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL879
Seminar in Philosophy and Cognitive Studies; Human Nature
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL888
Professional Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL889
(Perm Req)
Pedagogical Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL898
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research; Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.